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GRAY SUMMIT, MO (KTVI)– The Missouri Botanical Garden Shaw Nature Reserve, along with area residents, is fighting a proposed concrete plant in Franklin County.  Sixty thousand people a year visit the nature reserve to bird watch, enjoy the beauty, the peace and quiet, but that peacefulness may be at stake if a concrete plant is built within 600 feet of the reserve.

John Behrer is in charge of the Shaw Nature Reserve. He said, “Noise, not just the machinery and the conveyor belts but trucks backing up with those alarms on the back and the loaders and all that kind of stuff.”  He said in his 36 years working at the Shaw Nature Reserve they’ve never opposed nearby development until now.

Roger Landvatter owns the concrete company Landvatter Ready Mix.  He wants to build the plant. He said noise is not a problem at his Kirkwood plant and it won’t be at the new one either.  Landvatter said, “Now with the new modern equipment the regulations the noise is down.”

Nearby homeowners are up in arms.  They’re also worried about their health and the chemicals in the dust they could breathe in from the manufacturing of concrete.  Tom Mitchell opposes plant, his mother lives nearby. “It really should go into an industrial area an area more suitable for concrete plants,” he said.

Landvatter said, “We’re regulated so there is no dust.” He said the plants have filters to catch pollutants before going into the air.  That doesn’t stop homeowner Mavis Huff from being concerned, “What are they going to do it the chemicals do get out.”

Landvetter promised to be a good neighbor. If there are any problems he said he will address them. “Treat someone like you want to be treated, that’s where we’re at,” he stated.  Berher said, “It’s not an appropriate use of the land in our opinion.”

Both sides plan to show up at an early morning meeting Friday hopes of persuading decision makers.